Reflection Blog: Foundational Readings

            I found many insights in Casey and Savastinuk’s book, Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service. The book discusses what makes something a Library 2.0 service.

What was emphasized repeatedly was that the structure of Library 2.0 includes constant change and user participation.  Constant change is about evaluating a service to see if it is meeting its expected outcomes and it is a needed service.  If the service is not useful then it should be updated or replaced.  User participation (or participatory service) is about customer input regarding a service.  When reviewing the service, do customers have a voice (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007)? 

            Library 2.0 is about “keeping our current customers satisfied and reaching out to serve the broader market” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p.16).  Constant change allows the library to stay abreadst to customers’ evolving needs.  User participation gives customers a voice in services offered.  

            What I could bring to the library where I work is user participation which is customer involvement in the creation and evaluation of programs and services.  Our library could be more open to suggestions from customers.  In order to get customers’ opinions we could ask customers to write reviews, rate materials on an online portal, and complete surveys.

            What I gained from this book is that “knowing your community of current and potential users and what they want and need is the first step when thinking about how Library 2.0 can benefit your organization and its users” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p.35-36). I would like the library where I work to be about Library 2.0 as it is “inclusive, tolerant and open-minded” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p.36).

            Library 2.0 is about improving library services, and it ushers in the “next generation library” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p.18).  I find Library 2.0 and its focus on change and user participation to be innovative and an exciting step for libraries today.  In my future career as a library professional I hope to maintain the forward thinking of Library 2.0 by continually adapting services and getting feedback from customers about services.  Change is not easy, especially if there is a culture resistant to change at the library and the attitude of “we’ve always done it this way.”  Soliciting the opinions of customers will be a motivating factor for change. 

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

4 Thoughts.

  1. Hi Eileen,

    You brought up great points – all of which I connected with when going through this foundational reading. I love this idea of re-vamping your library’s evaluation. That is something I also thought up as the current evaluation form is rather vague. There could be more room to include comment boxes where participants can use their voices to include suggestions for future programming or improve the current program. The only challenge I see happening is getting skewed feedback. What I loved reading in the hyperlinked sources provided in this week’s lecture is reaching out, broadening our patrons… who are we not serving? If we just evaluate programs through the lens of people who may be patrons who are constantly coming to programs with not much variety, how far can the library take those evaluations? Just some food for thought – I look forward to hearing your future thoughts!

    -Fin

    • Fin,
      Yes, from the readings I gleaned that evaluation of services is important as a hyperlinked library. A library that just keeps services without finding out if the users are actually benefitting from them, is not the way to go. Participatory service will ensure that unneeded services do not simply stay active because they have been in place for a long time.

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